Why do I have to transition?
"My paediatric CF team has been looking after me pretty well so far, so why do I need to move?" It’s a fair question. But while a paediatric team is great at taking care of you when you’re a child, as you get older your needs might change or become more complicated. That’s where an adult team comes in.
Adult CF clinics have specialists who can help with your physio, nutrition and mental health, as well as providing advice on benefits or planning for your education. Moving to an adult centre can mean getting a more personalised approached to your care.
“My team includes doctors, nurses, physios, dietitians, psychologists and social workers. Having a whole team focused on every aspect of CF is great, even areas I had never thought of are covered. The psychologists have helped me with many things, from social anxiety to my needle phobia.” – Cicely
When you’re being cared for by a paediatric team, a lot of decisions will be made for you. When you’re younger that makes sense, but as you get older it’s only right that you should start making decisions about your own care. An adult team will encourage you to be independent and get more involved in these decisions.
“Moving to adults can be seen as a worrying time but really it can be a chance to start again, to reinvent yourself with cystic fibrosis. You are starting afresh with a new team so if you haven’t been as committed to doing your treatments as you maybe should be (I know that was me!) you have the chance to change that and work with your team to provide a better future for yourself.” – Cicely
“We set a date well in advance, so I knew exactly when I was moving.” – Poppy
Transitioning to adult care usually happens between the ages of 14 and 17. Why then? Well, in your mid-to late-teens you’ll probably start becoming more independent in other ways too.
It’s around the time you’ll start thinking about what you want to do after you finish school, whether that’s going to university, taking a training course or something completely different. As you’re starting to take control over other areas of your life, it makes sense that you’d start taking control of your CF too.
“For me it was a really intimidating thing to do and it took me a long time to adjust.” – Kate
When you transition is based on lots of different things, like where you live, your health and how independent you are with your treatments. This means that some people transition earlier or later than others. It’s important that your transition fits in with you and what you need.
“My transition wasn’t the smoothest and didn’t go how it was planned. I was very unwell and my paediatric team said that I had become too complex for them. I didn’t feel ready to move but I knew my team had suggested it because they didn’t have the resources or knowledge to treat me to the best of their ability. My transition was more focused on the sake of my health rather than if I was ready to go.” – Cicely